Leicester Tigers

From Academic Kids

Leicester Football Club (nicknamed Leicester Tigers) is an English Rugby Union club that plays in the Zurich Premiership. The club has been the most successful English club of the professional era, winning the Heineken Cup twice and the league five times under the captaincy of Martin Johnson.



They were founded in 1880 from a merger of three smaller teams Societies AFC, Leicester Amateur FC and Leicester Alert, and moved into their current ground at Welford Road, Leicester in 1892. They quickly gained a reputation and won the Midlands Cup eight times in a row, from 1898 to 1905 before dropping out “to give other teams a chance”.

The origin of the Tiger nickname is believed to have come from founders the Royal Leicestershire Regiment who got the nickname after serving in India, although alternative theory points to them wearing a brown and yellow striped shirt at some point. This differs from most rugby teams such as Newcastle Falcons, Sale Sharks and Leeds Tykes who adopted animal nicknames after the advent of professionalism to add marketability.

Leicester traditionally played in a strip of green, white and scarlet hoops.

Leicester started to grow towards the end of the 70s. At the start of the decade, the club had just 600-700 members and gates less than 1,000. By end of the 70s Tigers had reached their first cup final and the club was on its way towards a real growth period.

Supporters and players alike put this turn in attitude down to Chalkie White, who came to Leicester in 1968. He was a very progressive coach with high standards in terms of fitness and thinking about the game. His unique style of coaching brought the team success on the pitch and with that success came an increase in supporters.

The 70s was a fantastic era for the annual Christmas Barbarians fixture where in contrast with the usual 750-2000 spectators, the team played in front of a packed house. This game no longer takes place.

In the 1980s the club still enjoyed the benefits of amateur rugby with nights away and Easter tours, but off the pitch they were taking their first steps towards corporate sponsorship.

In recent years, under the captaincy of Martin Johnson, they have won the Premiership four years in a row, from 1999 to 2002, and the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002.

In the 2003 Rugby World Cup the club had seven representatives in the successful England squad: Martin Johnson (captain), Neil Back, Martin Corry, Ben Kay, Lewis Moody, Dorian West and Julian White. The coach, Clive Woodward, played for the club from 1979 to 1985.

In the 2004 New Year honours Woodward received a knighthood (KBE), Johnson was made a CBE and the other world cup players MBEs.

In the 2000/2001 Tigers made history and took the treble by winning the Zurich Premiership, the Zurich Championship and the Heineken Cup.

Welford Road

The club plays its home games at Welford Road stadium, the address of which is actually on Aylestone Road. The stadium was largely built during the 1930s,

As of 2004, the stadium has hosted eight international games. It hosted games during both the 1991 and 1999 Rugby Union World Cups.

[1] (http://www.planet-rugby.com/stats/matches/results_listing.phtml/p_r/ENG?venueCode=LEIC&sdate=1871&edate=2004)

Future stadium developments

On 23 November 2004, the club announced that it had entered into a 50-50 joint venture with the city's main football club, Leicester City F.C., to purchase City's current ground, Walkers Stadium. If the purchase goes through, the Tigers will surrender their lease on Welford Road and move into Walkers Stadium. [2] (http://www.rugbyrugby.com/TOURNAMENTS/Zuric_Premiership/Tournament_News/story_40106.shtml)



Current England elite squad




2004-2005 season

Club Honours

See also

External links

English Guinness Premiership rugby union clubs:

Bath | Bristol Shoguns | Gloucester | Leeds Tykes | Leicester Tigers | London Irish | Newcastle Falcons | Northampton Saints | Sale Sharks | Saracens | London Wasps | Worcester Warriors

RFU | National team

Guinness Premiership | Heineken Cup | European Challenge Cup | European Shield | Powergen Cup

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